Amazon Web Services (AWS) has banned NEG Group, the company behind the Pegasus spyware. Vice announced a ban this morning, the next day alleged extensive report Pegasus was used to target the phones of human rights activists and journalists.
An Amnesty International investigation into Pegasus the tool compromises targets’ phones and routed data through commercial services such as AWS and Amazon CloudFront, which “protects the NSO Group from certain Internet scanning technologies.” (Vice notes it 2020 report previously described the UFO for using Amazon services.) Amnesty International wrote that it had contacted Amazon about the UFO and Amazon had responded by denying accounts related to the UFO. “Once we learned of this activity, we will act quickly to close the relevant infrastructure and accounts,” an Amazon Web Services representative confirmed. Limit.
AWS was not the only service apparently used by the NSO. The Amnesty International report links it to several other companies, including DigitalOcean and Linode. NSO is alleged to favor servers in Europe and the United States, especially “European data centers maintained by American hosting companies.” As described in the report, NSO would deploy Pegasus malware through a number of malicious subdomains, exploiting security vulnerabilities in services such as iMessage. When Pegasus compromises your phone, it can collect information from your phone or activate its camera and microphone for monitoring.
NSO describes Pegasus as a tool for tracking terrorists and cybercriminals. But yesterday’s reporting – consisting of the work of Amnesty International, Forbidden Stories and 17 news agencies – governments use it optionally against political figures, dissidents and journalists. This included trying or executing attacks on 37 phones, such as targets New York times and Associated Press journalists as well as two women who were close to the murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggia. The NSO has opposed the reporting, calling it “full of false assumptions and unconfirmed theories.”